Meet King Joe (film #2 on An American Retrospective Through Animation (Moviecraft, 1994). Also in the Ephemeral section of Open Video Project. Also, film #908 on Prelinger Archive. Also, film #24 on Ephemeral Films CD-ROM (Voyager) (excerpts)). [Category: Industrial]

This animated film tries to explain to labor why the capitalist American system is the best in the world. A buffoonish everyworker named Joe (who looks an awful lot like Private Snafu) is patiently told by the narrator that he enjoys the best standard of living in the world, no thanks to him, but thanks to the capitalist system. The film is actually quite insulting to workers and it strongly implies that they have no right to complain about their wages or working conditions in any way. If I were trying to forment communist revolution, I wouldn't bother making my own propaganda films––I'd just show workers Meet King Joe. In fact, the communists didn't have to bother––apparently this film was shown regularly to workers in many plants during their lunch hour.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.

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